This Week: London, Scottsdale, Chicago, Cape Town, Florida Keys, Lodz (Poland)

Review of Hout Bay Manor. Capetown, South AfricaFodor’s latest restaurant and hotel reviews: Apsley’s, Campanile Lodz, Hout Bay Manor, Canal, Hotel Sax Chicago, Hawk’s Kay Resort

Hout Bay Manor

A recent renovation of this 1871 classic Cape Dutch mansion, located in Cape Town, has given it some funky, contemporary African style. Situated in Hout Bay—a fishing village turned trendy refuge from the city—the Manor’s location encourages exploration of the area’s many shops and restaurants, not to mention the multitude of stunning attractions. The Manor’s fine-dining restaurant, Pure, will blow your mind with its dreamlike lighting and fabulous culinary creations. Pros: sea breezes in the lovely garden; friendly service; child-friendly offerings (crayons, jars of candy); fine linens. Cons: no gym. Baviaanskloof, Hout Bay, Cape Town, 7872. 021/ 790-0116 (ph.).021/790-0118 (fax). www.houtbaymanor.co.za. 21 rooms. In room: refrigerator, Wi-Fi. In hotel: 2 restaurants, room service, bar, pool, free airport shuttle, executive floor, concierge, no elevator, laundry service, public Wi-Fi, parking, no-smoking rooms. Rooms start at 2,729 ZAR (approximately $360 USD). More Cape Town hotel reviews

Apsley’s

If ever there were a perfect restaurant equivalent of the EU, surely Apsleys must be it: the chef is British, the attentive waiters French, and the food Italian. Starters include a salad of wafer-thin slices of smoked tuna on a bed of fennel and blood oranges, and pasta primi piatti enlivened by tiny sea urchins and sweet chilies. A 50-foot high conservatory roof (the only source of natural light) soars over a tastefully neutral room flanked by two temperature-controlled walk-in wine rooms, where a special system preserves already-opened bottles. This allows for an extensive choice of wines by the glass. The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge. 020/7259-5599. www.lanesborough.com. Median entrée price: £26. More London restaurant reviews

Canal

It’s flashy, loud, expensive and hip. Welcome to Canal, and just about every other restaurant located near the Scottsdale Waterfront. While Canal may not suit everyone’s taste, it does appeal to quite a few taste buds in ways that other hot spots do not. If you go, save up for the 30 Dollar Sandwich, which seems to be the one item that lives up to its price tag. This meaty creation is stacked on buttery challah with Boursin cheese, mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, watercress, and asparagus– all topped with a batter-fried lobster claw. Enjoy it on the patio looking out over the waterfront. For a more mellow atmosphere, arrive before peak dinner hours on the weekends or go during the week. 7144 E. Stetson Dr., Suite 250, Central Scottsdale. 480/949-9000. AE, D, DC, MC, V. www.canalaz.com. Closed Sun. Median entrée price: $28. More Scottsdale restaurant reviews

Hotel Sax Chicago

Visitors to Chicago would be hard-pressed to find a more chic or tech-savvy place than the Hotel Sax. Stark white walls, adorned with appropriately risqué artwork, make the scented lobby feel ultra swank. In the rooms, modern furniture is chunky and ornate, and mismatched colors and patterns somehow look fabulous together. A high-tech game room leaves guests weak in the knees. Eager to please staff will download your favorite record if they don’t have it already, then pipe it in while you play Guitar Hero. Another plus: free champagne in the lobby from 5-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Pros: No need to leave the hotel for nightlife, thanks to the Crimson lounge; the House of Blues is right next door. Cons: scented lobby is a bit much for some; rooms and hallways can be too dim. 333 North Dearborn St., River North, 60610. 312/245-0333. www.hotelsaxchicago.com. 334 rooms, 19 suites. In-room: safe, Ethernet, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: 6 restaurants, room service, 6 bars, gym, laundry service, concierge, public Internet, public Wi-Fi, parking (fee), some pets allowed. More Chicago hotel reviews

Hawk’s Cay Resort

An in-the-water program that lets you get up-close and personal with dolphins makes Hawk’s Cay Resort a family favorite. This Caribbean-style retreat in the Florida Keys has plenty to keep the kids occupied, such as a pirate ship with water cannons. When the older generation wants to head to the spa or out to dinner, the hotel provides supervised programs for kids and teens. The spacious rooms and villas sport a West Indies look, thanks to a $35 million renovation in 2008. Note that the room rate does not include a $20 daily resort fee. Pros: huge rooms; restful spa; full-service marina. Cons: no real beach; far from the action. MM 61, OS, 61 Hawk’s Cay Blvd., Duck Key, 33050. 305/743-7000 or 888/443-6393. www.hawkscay.com. 177 rooms, 16 suites, 295 2-bedroom villas. In-room: kitchen (some), refrigerator, ethernet, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: 4 restaurants, room service, bars, tennis courts, pools, gym, spa, diving, water sports, children’s programs (ages 5–17), laundry facilities, laundry service, concierge, public Wi-Fi, airport shuttle, no-smoking rooms. Rooms start at $345. More Florida Keys hotel reviews

Campanile Lodz

The French hotel chain’s latest entry in Poland is a welcome addition. Most of the hotels in Lodz are aging properties from before World War II, or Communist-era mega-projects from the ’60s and ’70s. The Campanile brings much-needed modern comforts and high standards. The small reception area feels intimate, especially for a chain hotel. The all-white rooms, with hardwood floors are a breath of fresh air. Business travelers will appreciate the decent-sized desk with an Ethernet connection and input jacks to run audio and video from a computer to a flat-screen television. The bathrooms, also all-white, are large and spotless. Pros: friendly staff; great value; clean, uncluttered rooms. Cons: 15-minute walk to the city center; lacks local character; breakfast not included in the room rate. Pilsudskiego 11, Lodz 90-307. 042/664-2600 (ph.). 042/664-2601 (fax). www.campanile.com. 104 rooms. In-room: safe, Ethernet (no fee). In-hotel: restaurant, room service, bar, laundry service, public Wi-Fi (no fee), airport shuttle, parking (fee), some pets allowed, no-smoking rooms. Rooms start at: $269 PLN (approximately $120 USD).

Contributors: Mark Baker, JoBeth Jamison, Lee Middleton, Jo Napolitano, Ellin Stein, Chelle Walton

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